Independent Music Is Fighting for Survival in the Time of COVID-19


The music industry faced what seemed to be a manageable setback when the coronavirus first emerged in Asia in late 2019. The virus’s spread forced artists like Billie Eilish and My Chemical Romance to reschedule the Asia legs of their world tours, but they still had dates in the West to look forward to. In just a few months, however, COVID-19 made its way to the United States and Europe and was formally deemed a global pandemic.

Some countries have been luckier than others during this pandemic. That’s not to say that no one has been left unaffected by the virus, but in retrospect, the immediate and urgent response of the Vietnamese government to the coronavirus back in January proved to be successful. Lockdowns in different areas began lifting as early as March, and by June, Matthew MacPhee and the folks of Defused Mood successfully held the sixth edition of their Treehouse Festival in Hanoi. “Everyone had a renewed respect and care for other patrons, and we didn’t see the same amount of problems you’d see at regular events,” he said.